21 October 2008

I voted

Despite this blog being politics-heavy, I am apparently an idiot when it comes to the nuts and bolts of government.

Exhibit A: I confused members of Congress and Senators while texting with a friend yesterday. (Note: Senators represent the entire state, members of Congress a district within it.)

Exhibit B: I'd been meaning to register to vote for a few months now, but hadn't gotten around to it. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I was under the impression that the general election was held on November 27 or so. Thanksgiving? Anyway, yesterday Mandi and I went to the county administration building (which is conveniently located about four blocks away) to register.

On arrival, we were informed that the deadline to pre-register had been over two weeks ago, and that in reality, the general election will be on November 4.

"Oh, that's right," I thought.

But the nice lady at the courthouse went on to explain that we could register and vote on election day, or even register and vote that very second if we wanted. There were booths set up in the administration building and everything.

Mandi decided she'd take a voter registration card and vote at a later time, while I decided, "What the heck, I'll get it done right now."

Despite my appalling lack of knowledge about the specifics the democratic process, I had been researching the candidates for several months. The most helpful information regarding local political races came from my daily reading of the Idaho Falls Post Register, and I'd been spending at least an hour a day online reading articles and message board postings about the presidential race.

Without boring you with the intricacies of local Idaho politics (trust me, they are boring), I will tell you I voted for Bob Barr, or the Libertarian party, for president.


1. Economics. Obama's economic plans is thinly (if at all) disguised socialism and wealth redistribution. McCain isn't too far behind, in my opinion. Barr's stance is:

"Every area of federal spending can and should be cut. Entitlements must be reformed and welfare should be cut, including subsidies for business sometimes called corporate welfare. Military outlays should be reduced and pork barrel spending eliminated. Needless, duplicative, and wasteful programs, most of which
have no constitutional basis, should be terminated."

That's the libertarian way. Government should fund roads, courts, police and the army. That's about it. As I blogged about Sunday, I believe private enterprise is far more efficient than the government when it comes to taking care of people in all but a few instances.

2. Energy. Barr is for domestic drilling and nuclear energy.

3. Barr is for major tax reform. I agree that the tax code is far too complicated (almost comically so), and we should seriously consider a flat income tax.

4. The border.

There is no perfect immigration reform. The government must balance security and sovereignty concerns, which necessitate controlling the border, with the economic benefits of immigration. The best policy would be to stop illegal immigrant flows while accepting more of the world’s economically productive who want to come to America.

Very well stated, in my opinion. Meanwhile, neither McCain nor Obama are interested in doing anything with the border, perhaps because they fear losing the Hispanic vote.

5. And then we have the mustache. Way to rock it, Bob.

Now, I disagree with Barr about Iraq and privacy/government surveillance issues, though I can see where he's coming from and don't really begrudge him his positions on these points.\

As I live in Idaho, I realize the state will go to McCain no matter what. Idaho and Utah would vote Republican if Satan were running with an R next to his name. But maybe if McCain gets less of the supermajority he believes he is entitled to from these reddest-of-the-red states, it will send a message to Washington that they should consider nominating an actual conservative next time around.


LaPaube said...


You are so cool, B. Over the weekend, I have been thinking about my vote. I realized, I want to fight the Obama wave, and I live in a swing state, so my vote can do the most to that end if I vote for McCain. But then I thought, do I really want McCain to be the president of America? No, I don't. I didn't want him in the primaries, and I don't want him now. I don't want anybody that's in the race to be the president.

Barr wouldn't be a good president either. He wouldn't have agreed with me about government getting its hands dirty when the credit markets froze up. But I do like his stance against entitlements and other social programs. I have been thinking that I might vote for him, since VA will probably go to the Dems anyway. It will be more of a moral stand than voting for McCain, since I can't agree with Republicans on almost anything of substance.

Brandon said...

Yeah, I read an editorial he'd written on the bailout last week or so and realized he's not the man for you.

And yes, as many people have opined, this election stinks.

Steve-O said...

I would personally love to vote for the Constitution Party, but I have to learn from my Dad. He voted for Perot in the '92 election because he couldn't stomach voting for Bush again, and thus gave Clinton the election. I simply can't do that for Obama. But good for you anyway.

Seth said...

It's the lesser of two evils. Except it's a lot worse than that. It's interesting that most people would vote for Bush if he could run for Pres. again...